Life with space. In balace between reverb, delay and guitar.

Mr. Saaran wrote me and asked what I think about having too much reverb or delay.

Like in life, it’s all about the balance. How much effects, reverb or delay you want depends what you’re after. You want that in your face punchy sound or wish to go out of this world and all over the space with your guitar? Too much delay or reverb can be just the thing you need at times. But maybe not all the time!
And how do you get that guitar god like echo delay without getting too messy?

The right amount of delay or reverb is just a matter of your taste. But even more matter of the music and what’s happening there.  When it comes to overall mix of music I really like to have in your face kind of mix where Guitar, Bass Drums really sit in the front. But for the contrast I’ll happily go overboard with reverb and delay when the right moment comes.

Try to see delay and reverb as musical instruments. These should blend with the music. What kind of tone and rhythm, length settings will work best? Delay pedals with tap tempo can help you make your delay settings match the music. If you have the tempo set to go along the song tempo, it’s most likely going to fit in there more musically.

Delay and reverb should elevate the music. What kind of visua… I mean aural scenery are you tryint to build?

When we were mixing In Motion album with my old friend Mauro, he started calling me a reverbphobic (as well as treble phobic) as most of the time the rhythm guitars and even lead guitars have only just a little bit of short ambience reverb to give the tone little air and space.
In general I’ve been using longer reverbs with clean guitars and delays with lead guitars. It usually work like this, atleas for me, but of course there are always exceptions.

On the other side, I might want to go crazy with delay or echo. If you listen closely to the mix of Epic (The Way of the Exploding Guitar). It’s generally quite punchy and dry, but there’s an incredible amount of delays and echoes with the lead guitar . Especially in the end. If you only heard the lead guitar + delays isolated you would hear it all. It blends nicely in the overall mix and turns everything more…epic.
When I was mixing the track I actually took Nova Delay and recorded a delay track while tweaking tone and feedback knobs with my fingers. Sort of treating delay like an instrument. When the time comes I can have tons of feedback and go back to more subtle when there’s no need for it. I then even hand adjusted the velocity volume curve for the delay.  In my live G-System set up I have an expression pedal to adjust the feedback and mix of delay in my lead guitar preset. I can play busy leads with little echo behind there, but when I want that guitar god moment with long sustained note I can just rock the pedal and smoothly mix in more of that delay!

With mixing music, finding the right balance of dry and effect can be very tricky. It’s good to have some reference recording and to listen to your mixes with well rested ears too.


Reverb and Delay are usually called as effects. For a reason. You might want to treat them as effects. What does this mean? If you have the same effect on all the time, it might become the standard for the ears and it will loose it’s effect. Usually effects are best when they are only used in right spots, giving the right song and or song part the wanted … effect! . For example Listen Zing Zing (The Way of the Exploding Guitar) part at 3:00. The suddenly chords with long reverb and echo gives the overall punchy song a needed change. The musical moment takes you to somewhere else for a while before turns back for hard rock attack! It’s like having ginger while eating sushi. Refreshing your ears!

Try playing with your guitar for a minute or five minutes with tons of delay and/or reverb. Then suddenly cut it out and continue playing totally dry. What a great dramatic shock effect! How can you use this effect in a song?

In general slower tempo music has more space and room for you to fill in with effects. Fast tracks will easily go messy with effects as they are already filled with actually played notes.

When mixing recordings, ambience reverbs are very good for giving the mix more air. But you might not need them live as the room you play probably has a natural ambience or reverb to begin with.
Also if you play in a venue that already has a lot of messy echo and space, you might want to skip the reverbs as they will only add extra mess to your tone.

Plate reverb simulations can sound very musical in many places. In old times before digital reverbs, the Plate was the only way to get reverbs. Many classic albums and recordings has plate reverbs. They can sound great and musical!

Listen closely to to some well mixed albums
, how reverb / delay has been used with the guitar and other instuments. Try headphones!

Check and listen how your favourite guitarists are using these effects live.
Some guitarists to check out: Eric Johnson, Thomas Blug.


4 Steps to Melodic Improvisation – guitar lesson with tablatures and jamtracks

This lesson was originally written for Tyler Correl’s website. But now has been moved here. Enjoy improvising!

When i’m in a creative situation like improvising a solo, I try to go by intuition and not think too logical. Keep ears open, hear the music and let it out!

I’ve found that when improvising or composing melodies, once I’ve gotten the chord changes in my head, melodies usually start to pop out naturally. Important is not to rush right in with the guitar, but to listen to the chordprogression first. Perhaps, when preparing I might play the chords along a loop. Sooner or later I start hearing notes and little pieces of melodic lines inside my head.

I believe in music the first thing is that comes is the rhythm. A stimulating rhythm can really get you to the groove. When the rhythm is driving you, you start hearing how the notes should fall into places.

THERE IS HARMONY (Theory warning!!!)
Then there’s is the harmony. I like to hear and see chords more like scales and modes. If there’s two chords changing, I see it as two keys, scales or modes changing.
I’m a humble guy when it comes to theory but I can tell you that this chord progression comeis with two chords A major (a, #c, e notes) and E minor (e, g, b notes). One bar each. The way these two chords are related, makes it natural to start hearing A mixolydian (a, b, #c, d, e, #f, g) and E ( e, #f, g, a, b, #c, d) dorian modes tonalities changing. Both of these modes belong to D Major scale. Good!

With a little alteration you consider entering the tonal world of Melodic Minor aswell. All you need to do is sharpen the d note. A mixolydian #4 (a, b, #c, #d, e, #f, g)and E melodic minor ( e, #f, g, a, b, #c, #d) would sound slighlty more exotic. But we shall save this exotica to some other time.

Enough with analysis and theories.Shut up, listen, and play yer guitar!


Put the guitar away. Listen to the backing track. A major and E minor chord changing. Listen to it focused and try to come up with melodies. Try to hear the melodies inside your head or if that is hard just sing along the loop.

4 steps to melodic Improvisation – Jam track

Once you’re hearing a little piece of melody inside your head, pick up the guitar. Now find the notes on the guitar.

This is what I came up with.

Improvisation – Motive

Next it’s good to start exploring and playing around with the motive. I started jamming on the guitar. I tried creating variations of the motive. Playing it different ways and all around the guitar neck. Also ended up writing a mini solo that nicely variates the motive.

Improvisation – Mini solo
Improvisation – Minisolo (slow)


By creating this mini solo I now got some soloing ideas. I could treat the ideas freely in longer improvisation. I feel that this mini solo was like a preparation for this longer solo.
I started the improvisation with the motive but soon got away from the written one. Found other spontaneous themes as well. Most of the time I went after what I heard inside my head. But there were few moments where the fingers and guitar took the control.
There was a funny situation, when I suddenly found a trace to a melody that I had written about a half a year ago for one orchestral composition. I revisited the theme (0.30 – 0:40 on the audio track) for a while and then moved on to other things.

If you’re not a master improviser I suggest starting very easy and slow. Playing very little notes and simple stuff is good. Keep the stuff simple. Practice often and you’ll find things will expand and speed up naturally. Speed is definitely not the first thing here. Keep it simple and melodic!

Mr. Fastfinger 4 steps improvisation – Demo solo

Ears are musicians most important tools. Listen to music that will expand your harmonic world. Get the music inside your head. Very important is to practice the way of getting the music out of your head through your instrument. Great way to begin this is to sing a simple melody (or even just random interval of two notes), then find out how play it on your instrument.

Remember there are no rules, no rights and wrongs in music. No, actually there is one rule: be you and do you own thing!


Rhythm guitar lesson. Picking patterns. Mr. Fastfinger. Guitarbots / Stringweaver: Nightvisions

Here’s a Mr. Fastfinger rhythm guitar lesson / survival tip on Ovelin’s channel. Presented by Mika Tyyskä.  It showcases a picking pattern for the riff.  The same picking pattern goes well with the main riff from the song Epic (“The way of the exploding Guitar”) as well. For all guitarists and all genres. The way of the striking power chords 1. Down – Down – Up 2. Practice with a metronome


Rhythm guitar lesson. Striking power. Mr. Fastfinger. Guitarbots / Stringweaver: Practice Heart

Here’s a Mr. Fastfinger rhythm guitar lesson / survival tip on Ovelin’s channel. Presented by Mika Tyyskä. Practice Heart‘s main rhythm riff is in focus. It showcases a techniques to help your rhythm guitar sound better. For all guitarists and all genres. The way of the striking power chords 1. Palm mute 2. Release the notes / frets 3. Keep the time


Rhythm guitar lesson. Rolling right hand. Mr. Fastfinger. Guitarbots / Stringweaver: Awaki-Waki

Here’s a Mr. Fastfinger rhythm guitar lesson on Ovelin’s channel. Presented by Mika Tyyskä, Awaki-Waki‘s main rhythm riff is in focus. It showcases a technique to help your rhythm guitar playing keep time better: Rolling right hand. Works for all guitarists and all genres. The way of the rolling right hand: respect the rhythm – keep the time – make it tight!


Mr.Fastfinger joins forces with GuitarBots

Cartoon guitarist Mr.Fastfinger joins forces with GuitarBots, the social online guitar game played with a real guitar. Collaboration of guitarist Mika Tyyskä (aka Mr. Fastfinger) and game company Ovelin resulted as a Mr. Fastfinger song content package on GuitarBots. This new package release presents new, challenging level for more advanced guitarists.

Guitarbots – Mr. Fastfinger level, a serious fretboard workout. Sensei challenging guitar gamers.

Tandem of music release and a game experience for guitarists

Collaboration of the game company and artist introduces a new way of releasing music. 
The game enviroment of GuitarBots opens a novel way of interacting the song content, making the experience more personal.

– “You can get so much deeper with the music when you’re playing it yourself. Once I had started working on the music, I realised the material would also make a nice stand alone music release”, says Mika Tyyskä.

“Stringweaver” is an extended soundtrack to a Mr. Fastfinger song levels of the online game GuitarBots. Mini album takes you on a vivid ear traveling experience for the fans of intrumental rock. ”Stringweaver” available in all major digital download stores.

If you’re into challenging your guitar playing, visit Mr. Fastfinger at

Guitarbots Mr. Fastfinger song package release date: 14/5/2013
Stringweaver release date: 21/5/2013


Originality in music. Tune your ears for new music

In Facebook someone was wonder howcome my music sounds as original as it does. He asked me to share what kind of music do I listen, where it all comes from ?

“hey man since you are so humble and honestly one of my three favorite musician (of course the first one I try to use your Consultation to learn new thing from you in order to became great some day and I ask you If you became tired of my questioning frankly say it and your help will be always appreciated . You know another question in my mind is that your music is completely a new thing and different from others I mean the taste of that is completely something new ! how have reach them ? by listening to what?!”

I don’t think my music is that new. We are all mostly just combining old elements into our soups. I find if important that I try to put in elements that not everyone is doing. I don’t see point repeating the same song somebody else is already doing. I cannot give you a list of all the things I’ve been listening. I do like to listen to what all the instrumental rock guitarist are doing. But most of the time I enjoy listening to everything else. I’m always searching for new music where I can possibly give me some inspiration for new. 
Some of my biggest non guitar – or rock music inspirations for the last 20 years have been coming from Stravinsky (especially rite of spring, petruchka and firebird), Bartok, Zappa, Jan Johansson (folk melodies meets jazz piano) Bjork, Morricone… I love so many film and game soundtracks, ethnic world music. Hell I even love Beach Boys (Pet sounds and Smile era)!

Just the fact that you want to create something unique and not just repeat what everybody else is doing is the first thing. I try to approach the music writing more as if I’m building a world. I want to paint scenes and tell stories with music. The same laws that apply in visual art forms (painting, sculpture, books, film…) also work with music. It’s about drama, expression, shapes and forms, rhythm, light and shadow, contrasts… I didn’t really study music (except on my own), some of my biggest music revelations came from visual arts classes.

I also believe that our human personalities affect our music and playing a great deal. What kind of person you are in real life, can be heard in your music. Try to learn how to channel your emotions and feeling through your music. Then the music can become much deeper, personal.

I’d advise just to start tuning your ears open for anything that sounds inspirational to you. There’s always something to be learned from different music genres, aritists and styles. Now I got a feeling I’ve written about this before…


Lost World 8 – Tapping Guitar Lesson

Ultimate tapping guitar lesson in froggy style! This lessons shows how the tapping line was built. The lick starts with a bend and is based on familiar minor pentatonic shape. But due to the string skips and little variating starts to sound modern, flashy and surprising. This lesson also shows you how Rabbit style string skips can make your basic tapping shapes sound more exciting!
This is not for the absolute beginners on lead guitar. You should know your basic tapping skills before jumping into this lesson.

Extended solo backing from Lost World. Play the oringal solo licks or imprivise your own.

Mr. Fastfinger Jam track : Lost World – A Dorian Cycle


Lost World – Guitar Lesson 7: Unison Bends

Unison bends can give your single note more power and meaning. Considered as a basic technique, but it’s actually trickier if you want to make it sound good. Reaching the right pitch is the thing.

Extended solo backing from Lost World. Play the oringal solo licks or imprivise your own.

Mr. Fastfinger Jam track : Lost World – A Dorian Cycle


Lost World – Guitar Lesson 6: Super Force Hammering

Hammering the notes with left hand while the right hand serves as the string muter. Flashy yet simple!
It’s a special technique. Don’t take it too seriously. Remember it is all about playing with(!) the guitar!


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